Leather Bound Buttonhole Tutorial

Hey everyone and fans of the Train To Crazy!  It is Cheryl from Paradiso Designs with a cool technique that I developed to use in place of those dreaded gromments that look great, but normally do not last long, and end up coming apart.  IMG_3605So I came up with the Paradiso Designs Strap Slot, which is kind of like a bound buttonhole as you can see from above!

The red pleather piece started out as a 1.75" x around 3" piece.  I used measurements to make the strap slot fit the strap exactly and not be too loose.   I would recommend using a 2" wide or wider measurement for this, as it was not the easiest to sew down.  But I love the look of the slot with the kind of bend in it!!  I think letting it be not perfect looks great and if it was too perfect, then you would see every little mistake in stitching!!  You just want to make sure that what you start out with looks proportional, because what size you cut the slot facing is what size it will be.

The beauty of the using pleather/vinyl is that you can just sew that down as it, and it will look like leather, as it wrinkles like leather!!  IMG_3587You can see in this picture that I have the size that I want of the slot facing piece.  This slot is ½" wide.  And the slot is made in the center of the side seam of the bag!  I found the center and drew a chalk line through it, then I made lines where I was going to stitch my slot box.  I made sure that all my stitch lines were the same distance away from the edge on all 4 sides.  I put the right side to the right side of the lining, measuring from the top on both sides of the facing to make sure they were equal amounts from the top…then we know it will be placed straight.  I used tape to hold the facing in place, and about an inch below that I pinned through the lining to the seam allowance of the exterior bag to hold everything in place.  IMG_3589And then I stitched it, if you look closely you will see the indentations, and at the bottom of the picture you can see the center chalk line that is barely visable is centered with the bag side seam!  Use a stitcc length that is longer if the what you are sewing thorough is really thick, this was stitched with a 3.5 stitch length.  Make very sharp corners, and do not forget to backstitch.  IMG_3591I use only a seam ripper to cut pleather, especially in this situation.  I cut here through to the fleece,  IMG_3590And on the lining side too.  After I reach the fabrics I LOVE to use the Fiskers nips that have the long narrow blades.  They are great for being very precise in tiny places…and this is a tiny place!  Make sure to cut right up to each corner and not cut the stitching.  If you do cut the stitching on accident…just resew the rectangle just a bit bigger…maybe go 1/8 of an inch bigger around the 1st stitch lines, and then recut.  IMG_3595Now…bring in the big gun scissors to really clean up the stitch box, and the point is to lessen the bulk, so that it will be easy to turn the pleather out!  IMG_3598
Then I tucked the pleather facing through the stitch box from the back and pulled it gently out right side to the exterior of the bag.  If you look closely I used pins to hold down the facing to the bag, to anchor it as I sewed it in place.  I stitched with a 1/16" of an inch…use 1/8", it will look better I think.  Breathe, and just take your time sewing the facing into place.  IMG_3601You can see that I just let the pleather pleat in some places because it just did, due to the nature of the thickness of the bag.  And I feel that it adds to the charm, but it does not take away from the look of the bag, and when you look at the last picture………..  IMG_3602

  IMG_3610Does this look homemade….?  I think not!!

Thank-you to all the fans here for checking my techniques out, be sure to check out my website in a few weeks (November 8) to see 7 new patterns added to the Paradiso Designs Pattern Line-up!!

Thanks Andrea for letting me hang on the Train to Crazy!!  Have a wonderful Sunday!!

Check out Cheryl's other tutorials for sewing pleather purse handles and pleather binding tutorial 


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